Palačinke: Yugoslavian Pancake


If you’re like my mom, or countless others whom I have associated with recently, you are thinking “Pachink-what?” Palačinke directly translates to “pancakes”.

They’re not pancakes.

You can say they’re like a pancake and a crepe, only because it’s thicker than a crepe and thinner than a pancake.

I made some last week for the first time since coming home. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited! I almost cried when I took my first bite.

I have been dreaming of this deliciousness for months. Months! I had enough when I dreamed I made a palachinke doll.

This is the recipe I looked at while making my own.

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Palachinke  (Serbian Pancakes)

Batter

  • ·1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ·1 large beaten egg
  • ·1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ·1 teaspoon sugar
  • ·1.5 cup whole milk

Sweet Cheese Filling:

  • ·1 pound cottage cheese
  • ·3 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • ·2 tablespoons tapioca (small pearl)
  • ·1/4 cup sugar
  • ·2 large slightly beaten eggs

·Topping:

  • ·8 ounces sour cream
  • ·1 large beaten egg yolk
  • ·2 tablespoons sugar
  1. In a medium bowl, combine all the sweet cheese filling ingredients. Let it rest, covered and refrigerated, for 1 1/2 hours while you make the Palachinke.
  2. In a blender or food processor, combine the batter ingredients until smooth. Transfer to a pitcher, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes so the liquid can be absorbed by the flour.
  3. Use ½ cup measuring cup, portion out batter into a nonstick skillet (10”) that has been coated with oil. Rotate pan and swirl batter until it covers the entire bottom of pan. Cook until lightly brown or spotted brown on the underside. Turn and cook second side until light brown.
  4. Remove from pan to kitchen towel, roll and place on a parchment lined rimmed baking sheet.  Keep warm in 200 degree oven until ready to fill/bake or serve Croatian style. Repeat with remaining batter. At this point, Palachinke can be used immediately or layer between wax paper, wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen up to 1 month.
  5. Place 2 heaping tablespoons filling on one edge of each Palachinke and roll away from yourself.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place filled Palachinke on a buttered or parchment lined rimmed baking sheet (you can also use a 9×13 Pyrex dish).  Combine all topping ingredients, mixing well, and spread on top of filled Palachinke. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Serve with Strawberry Jam and whipped cream.
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It’s okay if you use whole wheat and one side is white and one is brown. And look! The bottom one is smiling! The feeling was mutual.

What actually happened I think describes a lot about my mental state while making this. It also proves how dynamic Serbian recipes are. What actually happened:

  • 1 cup Whole Wheat flour (Because that’s what I found first)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp Xylitol (sugar from fruit, because that’s what I have)

Put it in a blender and blend that sucker. Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge.

Glance at original sweet cheese recipe. Add random measurements of cottage and cream cheese together (making sure to have more cottage cheese than cream cheese), an egg, and sprinkle some Xylitol on it. Mix it in cereal bowl. Cover and place in the fridge.

I used an ice cream scoop to measure out how much batter to put in the pan. It worked out perfectly!

Let me explain that I have never made crepes and I am no good at cooking pancakes. Keep that in mind. Almost every palačinka thing came out perfect. Perfect!

Realizing my filling has eggs in it, there for requiring baking time, I filled my palachinke and stuck them in the microwave. I wish I was kidding. I know this is a major cooking no-no, but if you tested this goodness you would understand. It took every ounce of self control not to eat it all right then and there.

It was divno! Jako jako divno!

I had a lot of filling left over, despite my efforts to make less than was required.

Happy eating!

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Ham and Cheese Pizza
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Folded or Quartered. This is popular style is you’re going to carry it around.

As explained in the original recipe, courtesy my Serbian sister-in-law’s family, Palačinke is normally very simple and can be filled with anything. I always got it with honey. Just honey. It was filled with honey and had honey drizzled on top. My companion always got hers with ice cream. You can roll it or you can fold it. The possibilities are endless.

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